11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 29, 2014 2:54 PM by atPlay

    GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?

    atPlay Level 1

      I am looking at upgrading to a GTX 970 either Gigabyte G1 Gaming OR an EVGA though I am looking at other brands as well.

      Budget around $350.00 USD.

       

      I am still researching and looking with options open but I am really leaning more to the Nvidia 970.

       

      My CPU is restricting the PCI-E x16 to run at 2.0 speeds but even with that I think the 970 would be

      the best choice in GPU upgrade.  Thoughts or alternatives?  Want something that work long term and not just

      buy something cheap until that next thing comes along.

       

      I am NOT a gamer I do primarily webdesign so lots of image, video and audio editing. I am more a combination

      between a marketing advertising exec and a web developer with programming in PHP, JavaScript and all that back end

      stuff with databases and also web video and audio stuff etc... I just lump it all into the title of webdesigner for conversation

      which actually confuses real webdesigners because I do A LOT more than just build html and css pages.

       

      This is a prosumer type of system where it is used for both work and entertainment. I do watch movies and streaming video

      all of that works well on the current machine and I actually don't really need more of an upgrade beyond the GPU as this computer

      does meet my current needs and has for 2 years.  I expect to keep it for a couple more years, I have computers built that will last

      me 3 to 5 years, eventually will build a new one but for now everything works great. 

       

      I honestly don't care about having the greatest and bestest just something that will work for more than a year or two and meet my needs.

      But it seems the GPU tech is going through a revolution where the old tech is starting to be depreciated and won't be supported much

      into the future so since I am looking to get a new video card might as well go with the new stuff now so it will be supported more long term

      by everyone at some point.

       

      I am just confused by Models and Manufacturers or resellers that slap their label on the Nvidia tech.  Which one is best with little to no

      problems.  Evga seems to be popular, that is my current brand of card but I like the Gigabyte G1 with the additional display ports and

      ability to have 4 monitors simultaneously IF it will fit in my system it's HUGE.

       

      -------------------------

      Hardware Specs:

       

      PSU: VisionTek 800W    <==  will be upgrading to an 750 or 850 watt of Seasonic or Antec or Evga also.

      MOBO:  Gigabyte GA-H61M-S2PV ver 2.0

      CPU:      Intel i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz  Stock using stock intel cooler fan

      HD's:  3x - 1TB drives  WD Blue and two Black drives

      Memory:  16GB Ram  2x - 8GB crucial memory

       

      The blue drive is the system drive formatted around 700GB of the drive and split that in two with

      Windows 7 64 Bit Pro and Windows 8.1 in dual boot.  No SSD's due to MOBO only being 3GB's and not 6.

       

      This was custom built by a local computer shop which is out of or going out of business.

       

      Upgrading Motherboard or CPU is NOT an option as some purchased software is old school licensed

      with tie directly to the CPU and MOBO which would actually cost more than the entire computer to repurchase

      licenses (Professional Software non-Adobe related).  Plus upgrading MOBO and/or CPU you are required by

      Microsoft to repurchase a new license for windows and where windows 7 can probably just be reactivated windows 8 can't.

       

      This Motherboard is a micro motherboard, I didn't know that until recently. I did not build the computer myself.

      I had no clue what power supply was in this until a few days ago but everything has been working 100% for a little over 2 years.

       

      I am going to have to update the mobo bios before actually being able to use the new video card but others have this same model

      and it seems to work so.. I have a request in to Gigabyte though just to verify before actually purchasing.

       

      Though remember this is a 550 Ti video card I currently have and almost any upgrade would see big improvement.

      Physical Size wise how much larger is the 970 gtx compared to the Evga 550 Ti 2GB?   I add the 2GB because there

      are other 550's that are totally different look than my card.

       

      Also if you have any suggestions for PSU's that would be great too.   So far Seasonic, Antec and EVGA are brands that seem

      to be coming up a lot as top models.  Not sure about rating as some models Bronze out perform other models Gold or Platinum so...

       

      Budget around $150.00 USD for a new PSU too.

       

      Thanks for reading this and for any suggestions, sorry I can't upgrade mobo or cpu for you to go wild with ideas, it is some what restricting maybe.

       

      Main thing is that both the GPU and PSU will extend my current level of use another couple of years and the GPU has better performance even with

      the other tech and bottlenecks in this particular system.

        • 1. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
          cc_merchant Level 4

          Look at Tweakers Page - What video card to use?, Tweakers Page - Exporting Style, Tweakers Page - Balanced Systems  and other articles at Tweakers Page

           

          The 970 is a nice card, but overkill for your system. Better to continue saving than spending your money where it does not show.

           

          Though remember this is a 550 Ti video card I currently have and almost any upgrade would see big improvement.

           

          That is where you are mistaken. Your system can not even use all the power of the GTX 550 Ti. A GTX 970 would be idle most of the time and offer no performance gain over the current 550 Ti.

          Your CPU, memory and disk system just can not feed the video card quickly enough to use it to full potential.

          • 2. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
            atPlay Level 1

            Came across this in relation to PCI-E x16 2.0 vs 3.0 and performance of higher end video cards.

            According to this article there is not that much if any of a performance difference between PCI-E 2 and 3 in the wild.
            .

            Link below for specific testing of PCI-E 2 vs 3 in both x8 and x16.

            http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Impact-of-PCI-E-Speed-on-Gaming-Performance-518/

             

            Found a couple people that have this same exact mobo talk about their experience with the GTX 970 on a couple other sites and it seems they are not having any issues with it and see quite a bit of a difference going from a 600 and a 700 series card though their cpu's are newer than mine but not sure that has too much of an impact when the mobo is identical.

             

            That said I am still looking around at different options.  The bottleneck in the current hardware, mobo and cpu is true but going from a 550 Ti to something more powerful does not make sense that there would be no gain of any kind.   For example say if the 970 gives 3 times the increase in performance over the 550 Ti and due to my hardware I only get 2 times I would say that would be worth it.  I don't know where to get the numbers though to know exactly what kind of a performance boost would occur.

             

            If you or anyone has suggestions on a newer video card that will work and give more performance than the current card I have please share.

            • 3. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
              RjL190365 Level 4

              Guess what? You forgot to mention that the disk I/O performance of that motherboard (or any other H61 motherboard, for that matter) is lousy: It is limited to only about 270 MB/s per disk even with otherwise extremely fast SSDs. That is because the H61 chipset only supports SATA II (3.0 Gbps) instead of the SATA 6.0 Gbps of the higher-end chipsets - and in addition, it does not support RAID at all through anything besides the crummy Windows-supplied software RAID (or put it this way, no native support for RAID like in the higher-end chipsets). As such, with such lousy disk performance even with the very fastest disks, anything above your current GTX 550 Ti would be a waste of money.

               

              But if you must purchase a new card (likely because your existing card is on the fritz), it makes very little sense to go with anything above a GT 740 (the GDDR5 version) for that system.

              • 4. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
                atPlay Level 1

                So there is no performance improvement at all above the current card I have with this hardware?

                 

                Do you know any sources that show performance data for this motherboard and new video cards compared to the new motherboards with same video card so I can see what the difference is you are talking about?

                 

                I don't do raid so that was not anything I cared about when this computer was built.

                No, the current 550 Ti card is working great.

                 

                There wasn't too many options at the time this computer was built at the shop I got this from and it has actually kept up pretty well and still does for what I use it for.  I am not a gamer so the specs aren't something I look as closely to as one that is into that side of things.

                 

                I do kind of find it hard to believe that the newer cards will not work at all or very poorly on this system, I guess I don't understand the spec side of what you are talking about.   Better color definition won't occur between the 550 and a 970 on this system?   Animation rendering and Video Compositing won't see an improvement at all from an upgrade for the software that support GPU rendering?   I would think just the cuda core increase alone would make a difference but you are saying no?

                 

                I use the 970 as an example, I am not actually 100% on board a decision yet there or on any card.  I was looking at a 760 too but not sure yet.

                • 5. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
                  Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  atPlay wrote:

                   

                     I would think just the cuda core increase alone would make a difference but you are saying no?

                   

                   

                  Not if the rest of the system isn't fast enough to take advantage of it.

                  • 6. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                    IMHO you have to many bottlenecks on your current system to invest anything in upgrades

                     

                    atPlay wrote:

                     

                    1.  That said I am still looking around at different options.  The bottleneck in the current hardware, mobo and cpu is true but going from a 550 Ti to something more powerful does not make sense that there would be no gain of any kind.   For example say if the 970 gives 3 times the increase in performance over the 550 Ti and due to my hardware I only get 2 times I would say that would be worth it.  I don't know where to get the numbers though to know exactly what kind of a performance boost would occur.
                    2. Better color definition won't occur between the 550 and a 970 on this system? 

                     

                    1.  You are looking for miracles, rather than 200% a new graphics card  might give you 5-10% and that depends on what effects and features of the MPE hardware acceleration that you use.  Your CPU bottleneck will not allow much improvement.

                     

                    2.  Upgrading the GPU has no bearing on the color definition.

                     

                    3.  If you want an upgrade that might help a bit and be usable in the future get a very good disk drive.  Your system is about 4 years old.  The newer disk drives like a Seagate ST2000DM001 will give you a much faster disk access even though you only have SATA II ports.  Two reasons: because after four years your drives other than the boot drive are probably very full and because of the vintage are slower drives.  Operating on the beginning of the drive can be twice as fast as after 50-60% full drives

                    • 7. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
                      atPlay Level 1

                      Hello Bill,

                       

                      Thank you for your response.  The system is only 2 years old a year ago I upgraded the hard drives to a WD Blue and two WD black drives and the system is as fast as it can be without actually having SSD drives. I don't actually have anything installed in the computer that I don't use on a regular basis so there isn't a lot of junk laying around on the drives. 

                       

                      This particular system about the only thing I can upgrade is the Video Card and power supply though I am not sure I need a new power supply but the reviews of this particular brand have me worried.  Have had no issues with the system performance though a completely new system with today's newest tech would be a faster computer than the one I have now.

                       

                      Reading on other forums where others having a very similar system with same motherboard have upgraded there video cards from the 500 series up to 700 and 900 series seem to be reporting an improvement in performance with the things they do that are GPU utilized. It is just a shame that in this system what I am learning here is that there really is no improvements at all from an upgraded video card when it comes to Video Compositing software and other GPU utilized software I use.

                       

                      Thank you for your input.

                      • 8. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
                        atPlay Level 1

                        Taking full advantage of it or not taking advantage at all?

                        • 9. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
                          Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          No significant advantage.  Nearly none.

                          • 10. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
                            RjL190365 Level 4

                            Like Peru Bob stated. The money that you would have spent on a GTX 970 would have been far greater than whatever performance improvement that you'd attain (on a system-wide basis, not just one specific component). In fact, the cost of a single GTX 970 would have been almost as much money as the remainder of your entire system combined - and yet the upgrade delivers at most a 5 to 10 percent improvement in terms of total performance.

                             

                            I very recently upgraded from an i7-3770K and Z77 to an i7-4790K and Z97. Mainly because I wanted to upgrade my project/media drive and cache drive to SSD(s) in the not-too-distant future. (The Z77 supports only two SATA 6.0 Gbps ports and four SATA 3.0 Gbps ports natively, which is the impetus for this upgrade). But in order to accommodate the CPU upgrade, I had to downgrade my GPU slightly from a GTX 660 to a GTX 750 Ti (for my particular workflow, the GTX 750 Ti performed almost as well as the higher-end GPUs in terms of overall system performance).

                             

                            That said, there are reasons to upgrade a GPU from a budget (or even ultra-low-budget, for that matter) GPU to a "warrior" or "monster" GPU. But improving rendering performance on such a limited platform as LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge isn't one of them. And such a GPU upgrade is IMHO worthwhile only if the rest of the PC build is up to speed - with a much higher total system cost to boot.

                             

                            By the way, a single 1TB WD Blue or Black (the WD10EZEX and WD1003FZEX versions, respectively) can only achieve at best 180-ish MB/sec - and that's on the outer tracks of its platter. A four-year-old WD HDD (Blue WD10EALS or Black WD1002FAEX) at 7200 RPM would have barely hit 125 MB/sec on the outer tracks. As such, with just single disks, I wholeheartedly agree with the other responses: Consider saving up for an i7-4790 plus an H97 chipset-based motherboard instead of wasting a single penny on that i7-2600/H61 build (your current system, by the way, is completely maxed out on RAM at only 16GB total - and you can't upgrade the RAM any further).

                             

                            In other words, your current PC is, indeed, obsolete (as in "superceded" or "there's something better out there now in this class", not "no longer useful or usable").

                            • 11. Re: GPU upgrade suggestions from 2Gb Evga GTX 550 Ti ?
                              atPlay Level 1

                              Thank you for your informative response. 

                               

                              It is something I am now considering instead of upgrading to just a better cpu and hardware to just have an entirely new system built. 

                               

                              The current system does pretty well so it is not like all of a sudden it's falling apart, the system itself is actually only two years old and the parts were brand new as in not used.  The operating system drive is actually less than a year old and most software loads just about as fast as it takes to press a button or click the icon for it so it really is sort of like having an ssd in that respect but obviously not an ssd.

                               

                              I did some torture tests on it over the weekend and with the current hardware and stock intel cooler.. crazy that, but the temp went all the way to 87c and not above on the torture tests, I did three separate tests.

                               

                              I think the thermal crack down is at 98c where the chip starts to melt and go pop.  I then did a usability to see how far I could push it before the system came to a complete halt.  I maxed the CPU and Ram by  running 7-zip 15 to 20 instances archiving  100GB+ folders at once, running 8 applications, and three videos , one dvd playing and 3 instances of winamp playing as well as having chrome open with 18 tabs and streaming video in 5 of them. The system about came to a halt but not quite I could still move the mouse icon around and open windows. 

                               

                              All that plus whatever regular processes and software I have running in the background, with this outdated system.  Now those were just tests, my normal activity doesn't strain the system that hard but the torture tests I thought would cause the system to temp out and come to a halt. It never happened, after 30 minutes I just stopped the tests and watched the temp go back to 37C.  No blue screens, shutdowns or any issues at all. 

                               

                              I just wanted to share that and let people know that even though this system is not the most recent tech it is still quite powerful.  The 3rd and 4th gen i7's are crazy powerful compared to my 2600 but it still is not a slouch either when it comes to being a work horse, maybe not the biggest horse in the barn but still quite powerful.

                              That 550 Ti out does some of the 700 series cards too.

                               

                              Anyway, thanks for all the input to everyone, I do appreciate it.